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Farm Days

It’s that time again for another adventure in the farm bound builder’s life!

Over the past few months now, things around the ol' homestead have been manageable. No major projects outside of our normal routines going on right now, but we’re in the middle of a planning period where we assess things and get set for what happens next. We’re waiting on a good weather window and herbicide to finish killing some weeds before I get started on our next hay cut in our main fields up north. While that happens I get some time to do my own work.

A big thanks to Josh for having the faith in me to do a double snap review session and finally put that Takemikaduchi to rest and off of the up-for-review list every month, but fair warning: NO MORE TAKEMIKADUCHI! I'm already scared of Muv-Luv as it is...

Jumping off the Avalanche Exia Review comments between myself and Eva, I’m finally putting some old works into print. When I have more time between chores I’ll get around to having them posted online. I know I say Stay Tuned, but I mean it!

Back on the farm...

We've still got the calves from the winter locked in one pen and the rest of the herd is doing fine in the main field. The “crop” is doing well, after a minor spell with drought conditions and a blast of rain, one of the steers got a little sick and needed to get nursed back to health. He’s fine now, a few weeks in a pen with clean hay, water and Gatorade and some medicine later he pushed his way back out again.

Meanwhile the more rambunctious, intact bulls are learning not to mess with the two legged bearded mother (my nickname from my sisters). I taught my 200 lb ‘son’ (the calf I rescued at birth and raised by hand) how to fly the other night after he wanted to play the head-butt game. This morning, his twin brother got to meet the bottom of my boot after he tried the same thing… He’s not looking for a rematch.

In other Cattle news, it’s coming up on the next birthing cycle when most of our bred cows are beginning to show signs of delivery. We just had one old cow deliver her final calf for us earlier this week. I’ve had her locked in with the calves because of her age, her dentition (a telltale sign of a cow’s twilight years in her ability to graze in open fields) and because she was pregnant. After the last cow her age had a calf for us after this winter went down and needed battlefield medical treatment to get better, I didn’t want to repeat. Old girl and her calf are doing well, and will go to market in the Spring as a pair. It’s the nature of the business, but she’s done her part over the years.

Out in the hay fields, we've completed our first major blitzkrieg for square baling in over a decade. We’re co-opting with an associate of dad’s who wants hay for his horses and we’re taking a share of the crop for profit since it’s our equipment doing the work. As I said to dad when we got started with this venture, “here we go again.” So true my words were, right down from how the equipment worked (or didn’t) to the help… and I’m being generous with that word.

The owner of the field arranged for some help in the form of some high school kids. I don’t want to get on a rant here but these boys were more punk than help. Disrespectful, whining, complaining, drinking all the good Gatorade and wasting more time taking more breaks than lifting bales. I can at least say it was funny watching a pencil necked kid twice my height shudder in fear when I barked at him for lighting a cigarette.
Still, 16 acres of hay and what help there was… Oi.
By the time they showed up, I had already spent three days in the heat cutting and raking the hay, priming the baler and locking the trailers down on the back of the trucks before the first bale was tossed. On the final day of the cut, I had already unloaded the first trailer into storage by the time they showed up to work. When we were back out in the field loading trailers, I was running triple duty: driving the truck, loading the trailer and restacking it at the barns. All the while they were taking shortcuts in stacking and doing a very lazy job of covering their errors. I warned them that if the old man in the beard saw how they were working they’d get fired… Needless to say, he saw, they got tossed, and we didn’t have to pay them (though I’m sure they got paid by the guy who hired them).

I remember when we first started the farm let alone cutting hay for square bales, I was just a kid in grade school who didn’t want to be out there in the fields either, but there was still a job to be done and I could at least lift a bale by myself and toss it to the trailer. Such is the difference between living in the business and doing the job just to make a few bucks.
At least my calves appreciate the fruits of my labor.

Any case, that’s about it for now. Keep your eyes to the front page for anything new out that falls from the Hobby Shop aboard the Satellite of LoLs!

Posted 26 August, 2011 - 10:11 by Rob